As a Muslim woman I was never fearful in Britain. But today I’m afraid

…. I have never in my life been as aware of my Muslimness as I am now. I have never been fearful. I have lived in Britain all my life and it is my home and I love it, but now I am frightened of things that only a short time ago would have caused me no discomfort at all.

I roam around London, my home city, in a constant state of high alert; hyper-aware of a look or a person walking behind me. I have been wearing the hijab for 20 years and it has never hindered me. But in the past few days I have, for the first time, had fleeting thoughts about taking it off. I have no intention of doing it, but that’s what things have come to. My visibility puts me at risk, and a small part of me thinks that the only way to survive is to deny that I’m Muslim.

…. You cannot fully understand unless it is your reality too. You cannot understand the helplessness and the rage I feel when I hear my bright, sensitive, gentle 11-year-old nephew has had to deflect racist and Islamophobic comments from his ignorant schoolmates.

I am terrified for the world my sister’s children are going to have to live in; for all those at the mercy of people who spread hate and promote aggression. I wish that Isis were the only enemy in that regard. Sadly, Isis is simply the tip of the iceberg, which is showing no sign of shrinking. [1511 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 903 votes] We are all still waiting for this “terrible backlash” against Muslims, that we are all told that is inevitable due to our inherent Islamophobia. Been waiting for years.

Basically, most people are too intelligent to blame the majority for the actions of the minority, despite the apparent hope that we aren’t.

Globally, Muslims have more to fear from other Muslims than from non-Muslims. In the UK, they are probably as safe as they are anywhere in the world.

[2ND 718] “I am terrified or the world my sister’s children are going to have to live in”.

Well you could certainly refer this sentence to Saudi Arabia who at present are beheading and torturing women; you could, of course, transfer this to the caliphate, who rape children, behead innocent yazidis, shia, homosexuals, destroy ancient worlds and massacre people lying on a beach or watching a concert or having a meal, or writing a magazine article – Britain, certainly where I live, has bent over backwards regarding challenging racism at all levls and creating a multi cultural and vibrantly inclusive society – obviously including the traditions of this paper and your ability to critique the society you live in so freely – sometimes, it takes two people to form a dialogue – try it, you can, it’s a free country.

[3RD 687] ANOTHER COMMENT SAID: “There has been a 300% increase in reported Islamophobic attacks.”

Mostly involving nasty name calling online. Hardly Krystallnacht.

[4TH 645] “Actually, I’m a liberal, secular Shia, I wear the hijab”

Your meaning of secular differs from mine!

[5TH 601] I’m sorry, but I’m not having this at all.

The ‘backlash’ against Muslims has been virtually non-existent, I read somewhere that nationwide there were 115 reported incidents of ‘islamophobia’ in the week after the Paris attacks (that 115 includes things like shouting) – less than one reported incident of ‘islamophobia’ for each person murdered in Paris.

The UK is astoundingly tolerant and you’re phenomenally lucky to live in such a society – how dare you paint it in such a negative light.

[6TH 547] The UK is genuinely one of the most open places in the world.

It’s not perfect, nowhere is. But it’s a far cry from “hell”.

[7TH 517] Doesn’t sound like much of a “terrible backlash” to me.

[8TH 512] I don’t understand. Over a period of 16 years, you’ve had two people insult you and despite working with people who have mental health issues, nobody has ever given you any trouble at work. In what way are you going through hell every day because you are a Muslim?

[9TH 489] “Then I detest myself for hoping that, but I know if they do claim to be Muslim, the backlash will be terrible. It frightens me….”

“But I have never, aside from one incident where a man called me “fucking scum” and then left me alone, had any trouble. I mean, I think a boy on the bus called me “clothhead” circa 1999, but we can hardly count that.”

I am pleased that your fear has no rational foundation, and hope that it stays that way.

[10TH 458] ANOTHER COMMENT SAID: “Basically, most people are too intelligent to blame the majority for the actions of the minority, despite the apparent hope that we aren’t.”

Indeed, as Douglas Murray observed, when it comes to bigotry, a lot of left -liberal types have a terrible demand and supply problem. They desperately NEED violent, ignorant xenophobes to heroically oppose and define themselves against, but the greater mass of tolerant, commonsensical middle and working class people stubbornly refuse to play the role. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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